What to do when your basement smells like a sewer.

We have a love-hate relationship with basements. They make a great use of square footage, and are a great spot for your furnace, water heater and other critical machinery to keep your house running. However, they do come with their own problem: leaks, condensation, mold, and funky smells.

Here are a few sources of foul basement odors:

A stinky water trap under a floor drain or laundry machine If a drain hasn’t been used in awhile, the water can evaporate which would let in odorous gas from your sewer line to leak into the room. A simple solution is to pour fresh water down the drain. Another sneaky tip:  after pouring fresh water into the drain add a spoonful of clean cooking oil. This will keep the water from evaporating so quickly.

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A missing cleanout plug from the floor drain If your floor drain doesn’t have a cleanout plug, it allows sewer gases to escape into the room. Open up the drain grates and check to see if the cleanout plug is there. If it is not, your local hardware store will help you find a replacement.

Evaporated water from a toilet trap If your basement toilet has not been used recently, the water in the toilet trap may have evaporated. Simply flush the toilet to fix.

A broken wax toilet ring If the toilet ring between the toilet flange and the toilet base breaks, sewer gases can leak into a room. To fix this, remove the toilet and replace with a new wax ring.

If you’ve investigated these possible causes and still haven’t found the culprit, you might have a cracked or broken sewer line. This is a serious problem and should not be left unattended. Our plumbing specialists in Colorado Springs  (719.471.0713) or in the Denver area (303-428-04221can help detect and fix a broken sewer line. If you think your sewer line is broken, call us immediately and we will send a sewer specialist to diagnose the problem and help you find an affordable solution.